My Arab Spring

If I was some Syrian rebel trying to ignite the uprising I’d be fucking terrible. I’d see someone setting fire to themself at a market and be like, wow that’s so powerful. The world must know…..ahhh yeah I’ll just read BBC Features and Anlaysis for 3 hours instead. Basically, I’ve been meaning to update this for at least a month and I’ve now decided I have too much to write about so can’t do it.

I had my first Thanksgiving, y’all. I still don’t really get what it’s about but I enjoyed eating yams and marshmallows so who cares if there’s freakishly high alcohol abuse rates and unemployment amongst Native Americans, it all turned out alright, right?

But that was so long ago, I’ve already begun celebrating Christmas. Lisa and I have decorated the house into a veritable winter wonderland. I was in Lille this weekend for Clem’s family Christmas (there’s literally about 32 million of them, so they need to find a date everyone can come). It was interesting to see how other cultures celebrate it…..not a turkey in sight and seafood as far as the eye could see. Another tradition I like is that one of the host’s sons was cutting about the whole time with champagne and any time you had less than half a glass it magically refilled. However, one tradition I wasn’t expecting was a drunk uncle (druncle?) asking me if I was ready for kids (at which point me and my ovaries made a swift exit) then later he asked me if my boyfriend was good in bed. Twice. That’s a tradition, isn’t it?

I’m officially finished my first semester. There’s been tears, panic attacks and tantrums but thankfully that was my students and not me, so happy days! For my oral classes I got them to do presentations and they could answer 1 of 5 questions I’d given them as topics. One boy chose to discuss whether or not the internet had been a good thing for the music industry. He acted out a very animated court case in which he was the defendant, prosecutor, judge and a heckler from the gallery. At one point he stated something then shouted “objection!”, stood up and shouted back “overruled!”. He also used videos of Gangnam Style and Rick Astley as evidence. Needless to say he passed. I also had a pair come in dressed as a hippie and the other as a WWII pilot to present “is war a necessary evil?”. Sadly my other presentations were 5 minutes of me smiling encouragingly at scarlet, stuttering students. Bless em.

In addition to the whole of Tours being under construction for the tramway that’s getting built they’ve now started digging up our street for piping or some shit. So every day at 8 we get woken up with diggers cutting about, fun! They also come to our door all the time to ask us ridiculous questions about the construction of the house and stuff and no matter how many times they come to ask stuff and we tell them we have no idea they still come. So a couple of weeks ago I just ignored them when they came to the door…. a tactic which backfired since they went and got our landlord to come over instead. I honestly think they were just bored, they asked us to go and run the taps in the bathroom and then went and listened to some pipes then we had to do the kitchen ones and again they listened, then it just descended into some Marx brothers sketch of him being like “right, put the bathroom sink one off, turn on the bath, the kitchen sink and the sink in the toilet……ok, now put off the kitchen, the bath, put on both bathroom sinks and the one in the toilet” and this genuinely lasted 15 minutes, with occasional intervals of me running into the toilet to try and stop crying with laughter, while the workmen all stood about nodding seriously and tapping pipes.

So I’m spending the weekend with Clem who’s coming over tonight, we’re having a christmas party chez moi et lisa tomorrow then I’m heading home to Glasgow on Tuesday – soooo excited!

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